MFA in Creative Writing - Financial Support

MFA in Creative Writing - Financial Support MFA in Creative Writing - Financial Support

Supporting Your MFA Journey

It can be difficult to sustain a life in the arts, especially with the high cost of living in the Bay Area, but the SMC MFA aims to provide all students with meaningful financial support that aligns with their needs and interests—with a particular eye toward supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds, first generation students, and others who have historically not had access to a graduate education.

Thanks to the generosity of Saint Mary's College, our MFA Advisory Board, our Alumni Circle, and our community partners, we are proud to offer a range of scholarships, fellowships, professional development opportunities and on campus positions that help make the MFA a sustainable financial choice, often while providing valuable training and experience that can open doors after graduate school.


Students in a creative writing workshop

Recognizing Literary Potential

General Scholarships

All SMC MFA students receive financial support in the form of a general scholarship to help cover a significant portion of their cost of tuition.

Literary Awards

The program also offers financial assistance in the form of literary awards to students whose literary craft demonstrates exceptional promise—with particular attention to recognizing students at a pivotal stage in their artistic development. 

Outside Funding 

The SMC MFA program is always on the lookout for ways to connect students with outside funding opportunities, external scholarships, fellowships and other forms of financial support.

Teaching Fellowships

Students attending Pause for Poetry.

Preparing a New Generation of Writing Teachers

Composition Fellowships

During Year One, Composition Fellows study Composition pedagogy and prepare their own teaching materials in preparation to lead their own first year writing class in SMC's nationally-recognized Composition program.

Writing Center Fellows

During Year One, Writing Center Fellows study writing pedagogy and advise students in SMC's innovative Center for Writing Across the Curriculum in preparation to lead their own small group Writing Circles in Year Two. 

The New Literary Project Fellowship

In partnership with Bay Area non-profit The New Literary Fellowship, these students spend a semester teaching creative writing in an area high school, working with students who have historically not had access to workshop experiences and helping them prepare a piece of writing for a literary anthology.


Professional Development Opportunities

MFA student with novelist Margaret Wilkerson-Sexton.

Training and Experience for Life after the MFA

Graduate Assistantships

SMC MFA program awards graduate assistantships that cover the cost of attendance for students in roles that support the program and provide valuable training in literary arts administration. 

Community Partnerships

The SMC MFA program has a long history of partnering with community organizations that share our values. Students routinely engage in part-time opportunities—and earn valuable course credit along the way. 

Campus Positions 

Many SMC students find positions on campus that suit their skills and interests. We are always on the lookout to place our graduates students in jobs on campus.

School and Department Information

Chris Feliciano Arnold
Director, MFA in Creative Writing

Collin Skeen
Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment